Impower Close to Bankruptcy

Online marketer Impower is running out of cash and is close to filing bankruptcy, sources tell internetnews.com.

Despite receiving funding earlier this year from an investor, Toronto-based holding company Counsel Corp., sources close to Princeton, N.J.-based Impower say the company is down to as few as 30 employees, and is looking for ways to survive despite a dearth of cash.

That’s a marked turnaround from the online database development and data mining firm’s peak earlier this year of about 100 employees.

In addition to the rank-and-file cuts, several top executives have left the firm during the past three months, including chief marketing officer Michael Keeler and vice president Mark Zilling.

As financial pressure mounted during the past several months, sources say Impower had asked for more funding from Counsel, which to date has given about $17 million to the company.

But failing to cement a deal with Counsel, sources said Impower began having difficulties meeting its financial obligations, and is currently exploring asset sales and filing for Chapter 11 protection.

President and chief operating officer Greg Ellis and spokespeople from Counsel Corp. — which owns at least a 33 percent stake in the firm — did not return calls for comment by press time.

It’s a gloomy chapter for the company, which was spun off in 1995 from direct marketing stalwart American List Council in a bid to compete with fast-moving Internet marketing plays.

In addition to its list management business, Impower sought to create an online marketplace where marketers could buy email lists from publishers on a cost-per-action basis.

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